Furnace Repair & Maintenance to Do Before the Holidays
During the fall and winter, you want to feel warm and cozy as you spend time with your friends and family. After all, it’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. For this reason, HVAC experts recommend that you perform simple maintenance tasks and schedule a professional tune-up and inspection to avoid breakdowns on the coldest days of the year, which are also the busiest for those in the heating and cooling industry. As the temperatures start to drop and you prepare your home, caring for your heating system properly will help ensure your holidays are memorable for the right reasons.
Change the filter.
One of the simplest ways to keep your furnace in good shape and running efficiently is to replace the filter as regularly as the manufacturer recommends. A clean air filter makes it simpler for the furnace to circulate air, improving its energy efficiency and overall performance. It will also help keep the air in your home healthier and reduce the number of allergens that your family breathes.
Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
If your furnace needs a repair, it might emit carbon monoxide into your home. Keep your family safer by testing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. If you can’t remember the last time that you replaced the batteries, now is a good time to do so.
Schedule a professional maintenance and inspection.
Between dinner parties and holiday gifts, a furnace repair might not be an expense that you want to assume. Prevent inconvenient surprises by hiring a licensed HVAC contractor to inspect and tune-up your furnace. During the visit, the expert will let you know about small issues that could turn into expensive repairs that will leave you in the cold.
If some areas or rooms in your home seem cooler or dustier than others do, schedule a ductwork inspection as well. Clean, leak-free ducts ensure that heat does not enter unoccupied areas (e.g., spaces between the walls) and make heating systems more efficient.
Check the thermostat’s settings.
If you home feels chilly, verify that the thermostat is on the “Auto” or “Heat” setting. The temperatures programmed into the device should be warmer than the temperature outside. If you have an older thermostat model, consider replacing it with a programmable thermostat that automatically raises or lowers the temperature when you’re home, away or asleep to maximize your comfort and energy savings.
A good daytime temperature setting when your home is occupied during the winter is 68°F. While it’s true that you’ll save up to 5 percent on your heating costs for every degree that you lower the temperature, don’t set the thermostat too low at night or while you’re away. Temperature differences of more than 3°F might make your furnace work harder to achieve the daytime temperature setting, which will consume more energy.
If you plan to host a holiday party, consider turning the thermostat down a few degrees. Warm ovens, stovetops working overtime and body heat will make the temperature in your home rise. Many programmable thermostats have a function that allows you to change the temperature temporarily using the “Hold” function. Pressing the “Run” button after a party will make the thermostat resume its preprogrammed schedule.
Inspect the burners.
If you have a natural gas- or propane-fueled furnace, the flames within it should be blue. To ensure that the burners work properly, flip the furnace’s power switch to the “Off” position and remove the combustion chamber door and, if applicable, burner cover. Flip the power switch back to the “On” position and turn up the temperature on the thermostat temporarily to activate the burners. The flame should look even and blue. If the flames are yellow, call a professional immediately. Do not attempt to adjust or repair the burners on your own.
When you inspect the burners, take care to not breath on the flames because the extra oxygen will make them turn yellow.
Holiday furnace repair might not be at the top of your list of fun winter activities. Following a maintenance schedule will prevent major breakdowns, protect your budget from unexpected repairs, save energy and reduce the risk of fires. Get in touch with AAA Heating and Cooling today to book a convenient appointment and jumpstart your wintertime home maintenance tasks.